In this Photoshop tutorial, Chris Orwig demonstrates how easy it is to use the Rectangular Marquee tool to make an image selection that you can copy to a separate Photoshop layer, modify the selection you made, or move it to a new document entirely.
- In order to get familiar with how to use the rectangular marquee tool, let's take a look at how we can use this tool in order to make a selection, and then look at how we can copy the selection to a new layer. Alright, well let's choose the rectangular marquee tool. You can find it over here in the tools panel. Go ahead and just click on the icon, and make sure you're selecting rectangular marquee, not elliptical. We'll talk about that one later. And you also will notice there is a shortcut key associated with the tool. It's the M key. You can also just press the M key on your keyboard.
Now the way that this tool works as you position it over the image, and this is a photograph of a sign I captured out in the desert, and what I want to do is I want to select the sign and some of the sky in the background. Well, to do that you position your cursor over the image and then click and drag out. As you click and drag out, you can see it's showing us this overlay graphic. Now this graphic is made up of a moving white and black checkered line. This is often referred to as the marching ants. And these marching ants are showing you, hey, I'm selecting something.
Now, we're selecting something inside of this area which we have now dragged out across the image. Now, if you make a mistake with your selection, just go up to the select pull down menu and choose deselect and then try again. You can see how I can select and then go to select and choose deselect and just try again until we select the sign, a little bit of the post there, and some of the background. Now, once we have an area selected in an image, what we might want to do is move it to another location.
Yet, if we just choose the move tool here by selecting it in the tools panel and click and drag, we can move it to a new location. But you'll notice that we're modifying the background layer. We still have some of the background there. So this really won't work for us. So what I'm going to do is press Command Z on a MAC or Control Z on Windows to undo. Rather than just clicking and dragging to move this, I want to copy the selected area to a new layer. In order to do that, we're going to use a keyboard shortcut combo. On a MAC you press Command J.
On Windows that's Control J. Think J for jump. Now at first glance you'll think OK, nothing really happened, but when you look at the layers panel, you'll notice you have a new layer. And if we turn off the I icon or the visibility of that background layer, you can see now in layer one, we have this item, or this area which we selected on a separate layer. Here we could modify this or move this or bring it to another document or whatever it is. So sometimes, when you're working with selections, you may want to copy that selection to a new layer. To do that, you make the selection then press Command or Control J in order to copy the selected area to a new layer.
- Using the Marquee Selection tools
- Changing the color of a selection
- Inverting a selection
- Selecting a shape with the Polygonal Lasso tool
- Working with the Magic Wand
- Removing a subject from the background
- Selecting color with Color Range
- Creating custom masks
- Copying a mask
- Selecting and modifying at the same time